ASIA/JORDAN - The president of Caritas: Syrian refugees are more than 500 thousand

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Amman (Agenzia Fides) - The Syrian refugees who have found refuge in Jordan have already crossed the threshold of 500 thousand. This was reported to Fides Agency by Wael Suleiman, director of Caritas Jordan. "Every day," explains Suleiman "between one thousand and two thousand refugees enter Jordan. 1700 arrived yesterday. The latest report released on this humanitarian crisis estimates that the refugees will be a million and a half by December. At that point the situation will become unbearable for Jordan."
According to the director of the local Caritas, the situation threatens to overwhelm even generous initiatives of reception: "As Caritas," explains Suleiman "our volunteers and our employees have more than tripled since the beginning of the influx of refugees. Now volunteers are more than two hundred, and employees are more than 150. But they are not enough: yesterday I went to Zarqa and I saw our Caritas point surrounded by a multitude of people asking for help. "
The Jordanian government denied reports that yesterday a closure of borders had been reported. "A block of the borders," notes the director of Caritas Jordan "is in fact impossible: even if the checkpoint were to close, the border between Syria and the Hashemite Kingdom stretches along 360 kilometers and cannot be guarded in a systematic way."
The refugee emergency in Jordan is aggravated also by the delays that have so far prevented to inaugurate the second UN camp twenty kilometers from Zarqa, whose opening was given for imminent already in December. The new structure was designed to relieve the unbearable situation of 50 thousand refugees crowded in camp Zaatari, located in the desert. But the works of enlargement of the new refugee camp are delaying the planned transfer of women and children from Zaatari. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 26/03/2013).